Saturday Snippets: 18.March.2017

Earlier in the week, we were reminiscing about where we were this time two years ago. Spoiler – we were in Joshua Tree and made a strawberry tart for Pi Day, made Guinness Chocolate Pots for St. Patrick’s Day, and cycling in Riverside during our rest days. Does anyone else remember where they were, based on the food they made / ate? We also tried our best to remember how nice it felt to be in warm sunshine, instead of cold rain (Vancouver, we’re okay whenever you want to allow spring to come…).

Here’s a few things that caught our eye online during the week of 18.March.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • We just started our power training rotation last week. I find campus training quite intense and tricky for me, so I’m always looking for new exercises to try, to improve my power movement. This video is a good intro to campus training, if you’ve never done any before.
  • Being a Prairie girl, is it a sacrilege that I’ve never had a Flapper Pie? I’m thinking, with Canada turning 150 this year, I should start a series of posts, trying to make all the classic Canadian dishes.
  • I love the flavour of lemongrass (have you tried making our red curry paste?) and this Vietnamese bowl looks like one to try.
  • Here’s a little hearing test to try. I got to the second last one, before I couldn’t make out the words anymore.
  • How awesome does this lego tape look! I’m thinking of all our nephews here… πŸ™‚

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Headliner Insulation

  • We finished insulating the last section of the van this week – the cabin, which involves taking off the headliner. I read a good post in the Sprinter Forum on how to do it and it seemed easy enough. In real life? It was a battle.
  • Taking off the trim and the sun visor shelves was pretty easy, with only a good amount of muscle power to get the screws out.
  • You want to know what the sound of a sinking stomach feels like? Hearing the sound of the screw you were trying to remove, rattle its way down the inner channels of the van.
  • You want to know what elation feels like? Removing more parts of the cabin panel, seeing said screw, and actually being able to retrieve it!
  • The headliner removal was tricky as we didn’t want to damage the air bags along the sides of the windows. And getting the headliner back in was harder than we thought! It’s quite rigid, and the space is a tight fit. But after a few starts and re-starts, and jiggling and jostling, we got it back into place.
  • We both think it sounds much quieter in the van while we’re driving! | Spriner conversion - removing the headliner

The headliner removed. | Sprinter conversion - insulating the headliner space

The cab insulated with Thinsulate, before putting the headliner back on.

Room dividers:

  • As a friend of mine said – β€œYou have rooms!” We have the walls separating the galley and the bedroom CNC’d and stained and installed! We used 1/8-inch plywood, to minimize the weight. They do feel a bit delicate, so we’ll probably end up adding some trim along the edges, for added sturdiness.
  • Next step is to finish off covering a few more ceiling and wall panels, and then start working on the main kitchen. | Sprinter conversion - separating walls

Heating system:

  • Jonty spent most of the week getting the Espar heating system fully connected. This will include the hydronic, in-floor heating, as well as the forced-air heat. Despite the cold, wet week we’ve had, he managed to get under the van to hook up almost everything. Hopefully by this time next week, we’ll have a fully functioning independent heating system! | Sprinter conversion - electrical components for the Espar heater

Things always look worse before they look better πŸ™‚ | Sprinter conversion - expansion tank for the Espar heater

Filling the expansion tank with water, to make sure the in-floor hydronic heating works,

Pictures during the week of 18.March.2017:

Hmm, I’m afraid I slacked off this week. It was a running around / doing van work / climbing training / sitting in the office week, so the best I can do is the following πŸ™‚ | cycling picture

I managed one quick cycle this week, and shared a bike rack with these cool wheels. | Grey skies in Vancouver

So many grey days in Vancouver this week. | rainy day

Rainy day murals at Maker Lab. | climbing training

Boulder warm-ups before campus board training.

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 11.March.2017

Are you ready to spring ahead tomorrow? It’s a love-hate relationship. I love the extra light in the evenings, but the hour of lost sleep in the morning? Not so much. Good thing I have Monday off πŸ™‚

Here’s a few things that caught our eye online. Saturday Snippets for 11.March.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • Every time I see a new post from The Perfect Loaf website, it makes me want to start making my own mother starter immediately. I’ve told Jonty it’s a 2017 goal of mine πŸ˜‰ Perhaps this Sour Cherry, Pecan and Buckwheat loaf will finally push me to try it; gorgeous, isn’t it?
  • The calendar might indicate Spring is on its way, but our weather begs to differ. Cold mornings still require warm breakfasts. How about this blueberry oatmeal?
  • But I’m willing Spring on, and so this Grapefruit Lemon Tart is looking mighty appealing!
  • Are you itching to travel? These Instagram travel photographers are here to help (and two nods for Canada!).
  • This is a major problem in Vancouver, and I’m not sure how they’re going to solve it.
  • We’ve had our Thermos mugs for nearly 10 years (they’ve travelled with us near and far), and they still work! Not sure how they would stand up against the leak test, though. Maybe when they finally konk out (or we lose them), we’ll upgrade to the fancy-pants ones πŸ™‚

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

  • Jonty was working solo this week, as my vacation stint was over. He wired up the lights in the back, as well as the MaxxFan fans. I find it oddly satisfying and very exciting to know that we can flick a switch and have light! Who needs daylight savings time, anyways πŸ˜‰ | Sprinter van conversion - installing pod lights | Sprinter van conversion - installing pod lights

  • We also spent a bit of time, thinking about the logistics of separating the bedroom from the kitchen galley, something we designed for. Jonty finished prototyping one of the dividers and if we can find the wood we need, hopefully they can be CNC’d in the coming days. | Sprinter van conversion - prototyping the cabinet walls

  • Remember that last 5% of the van insulation that hasn’t been done yet? I started to tackle it yesterday. The headliner in the cab area can be removed, and insulation put behind it. It requires taking off a few panels, the sun visor storage compartments and dealing with the lights console. No problem, hey? My progress involved googling how to do it, then taking off one sun visor compartment. Slow and steady πŸ™‚ | Sprinter van conversion - insulating the headliner

Pictures during the week of 11.March.2017:

Monday was the only reasonably nice day of the week. Before heading down to work on the van, we grabbed a coffee and snack and wandered down into Olympic Village. It had snowed (again!) the day before, and the mountains are still covered. Too bad we’re not skiers – the local mountains have definitely had a great year. | Vancouver's Olympic Village | Vancouver's Olympic Village | Vancouver's Olympic Village

The sun was shining just enough for us to have some reasonably dry benches to sit on. We must have been one of the few people sitting down to eat, because the seagulls were sure looking hungry! While there was still a briskness to the air, the sun was warm on our backs and it was a lovely place to ease into the week. | Vancouver's Olympic Village | Vancouver's Olympic Village

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 04.March.2017

Well hello, March! You sneak up so quickly after a short February πŸ™‚

Here’s a few things that caught our eye online, our Saturday Snippets for 04.March.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

I had a few days off this week, and we were able to finish a couple of major projects.

Thinsulate insulation:

  • We finally insulated the remainder of the van interior (well, 98% of it). We wanted to get that done before putting up the wall panels. Do you know how many nooks and crannies and crevices and awkward, seemingly-hidden areas there are to shove insulation into? Answer: A lot. But it’s done, and my lower back can stop spasming now πŸ™‚ | Sprinter van conversion - how to cover wall panel corners

Foam-backed vinyl panels:

  • We also finished covering the wall and ceiling panels (at least, the ones that we’ve CNC’d). The foam-backed vinyl we’ve used gives the walls a nice soft touch.
  • We spent a few hours last weekend figuring out a folding technique that would make the corners less bulky, then Jonty drew up a template for me to use. This saved a pile of time when cutting the corners out! We made the decision to peel off some of the foam around the edges we were folding over, then used 3M 90 adhesive spray for the gluing.
  • We’re super happy with how it’s coming along! We still have more panels to go (in the ceiling corners, and at the front) but I think it’s going to make the van feel quite cozy when it’s all installed πŸ™‚ | Sprinter van conversion - foam-backed vinyle covered panels | Sprinter van conversion - foam-backed vinyle covered panels | Sprinter van conversion - foam-backed vinyle covered panels

Pictures from 04.March.2017:

We had snow. Again. On the last day of February. Granted, it only lasted for a few hours in the morning. But still! Those poor little daffodil shoots won’t know what hit them! And then we had rain. A lot of rain. The van work got a bit soggy, but we were treated to a sunset at the end of our week. And somehow, a good unexpected sunrise will make you forget all the other weather πŸ™‚ | Vancouver in March

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 25.February.2017

I was on vacation this past week and that translated into A LOT of van work, which I didn’t mind. So I hope you’re ready for a pile of van photos, because that’s where we spent most of the week!

Here’s what caught our eye online this past week. Our Saturday Snippets for 25.February.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

  • It’s been a busy week for our little Moby. The first big news is that we bought a Bully Hitch Step! This has been a game-changer for getting into and out of the back of the van. The 4×4 makes the height of the van quite a high step, so this has really helped. Why did we wait so long to get something like this?! | Sprinter conversion - attaching a Bully Hitch Step | Sprinter conversion - attaching a Bully Hitch Step

  • We’re finally at the point where we can start to add more of our Thinsulate insulation to the van. There are nooks and crannies everywhere in the van and one of the trickier locations to put insulation is into the hollow ceiling ribs. Thank goodness for YouTube, there’s some great solutions on there! The method: tape over all holes and attached a piece of tissue to the end of a string. Then, using a vacuum cleaner, suck the string through the rib. Once the string is through, attach one end of the string to the Thinsulate, and gently pull it back through the rib – done! I was able to do one ceiling rib in about 5 minutes, I reckon YouTube saved me days of work! | Sprinter conversion - insulating the ceiling with Thinsulate | Sprinter conversion - insulating the ceiling with Thinsulate

  • Everything is curved in this van – the walls, the ceiling, parts of the floor… It’s a bit of a nightmare for Jonty and his design work. Another job we ticked off this week was to do something about the curvature of the lower wall panel boards. The solution was to add shims of varying thicknesses to the back of the wall panels. Now that it’s done, the walls are straighter, and we’re much happier πŸ™‚ | Sprinter conversion - installing wall panels

  • Finally, we got around to insulating and boxing-in wheel wells. Jonty CNC’d the panels for wheel well boxes and we stained them. We added Thinsulate to each wheel well and attached each wheel well box to the floor and wall, and put in the panels. While we were at it, Jonty beefed up the attachments for the battery box. Everything tied down nicely now! | Sprinter conversion - building a wheel well box

Pictures during the week of 25.February.2017:

Honestly, the week was filled with van work from Sunday through Friday, so we didn’t have a chance to get out for our weekly photo walk. I did manage to snap a few sunrise and sunset photos, as we travelled to and from Maker Labs. So this will have to do πŸ˜‰ | Vancouver sunrises

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 18.February.2017

Well, the nice thing about being at the tail-end of a long weekend is that the following week is a short one. The only downside about a short week is that I thought I had an extra day to get this post ready! It’s been a jam-packed 4-day week, filled with site visits, van work, gym days and training days. We’ve been going non-stop since last weekend. The weather has improved (read: it stopped snowing, started raining, the temperatures have reached the double digits, and I saw the first cherry blossom of the year!), which definitely makes working in the van much nicer. And we’ve even had a few days of sunshine!

Here’s a few things that caught our eye online during the week. Our Saturday Snippets for 18.February.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

  • This week we finished getting all of the cabinets mounted to the wall and ceiling panels. The original idea we had for thermally isolating the 80-20 cabinets from the van exterior wasn’t actually necessary anymore (Jonty had a better idea). So he manufactured different mounting brackets, drilled holes, installed rivnuts and we attached everything together. With this new design, the 80-20 cabinets will sit flush against the ceiling and the wall, still thermally isolated from the van metal, and provide a nice clean finish. | Sprinter van conversion interior | Sprinter van conversion interior wall mounts

  • Now that the panels are basically finished, it’s time to start thinking about covering them! I had a few practice attempts with pieces of scrap wood. It was definitely a good idea to practice, because it gave me an idea of how thick the foam-backed vinyl really is! The stuff we bought has 1/4-inch foam adhered onto vinyl and, while it looks like it would squish down quite a bit, there’s still some bulk around the corners. We ended up having to enlarge the holes for our ceiling lights, as a result. | Sprinter van conversion wall panels | Sprinter van conversion wall panels

  • I got my first taste at wearing welding goggles. Not to actually weld (I left that part up to Jonty, he was plasma cutting). I can feel your jealousy oozing through the screen πŸ˜‰ | Sprinter van conversion

Pictures during the week of 18.February.2017:

We had our Family Day long weekend this past week (I’m pretty sure the rest of Canada has their long weekend this weekend. Good planning, BC government!). We took Monday off from van work and enjoyed the sunshine. We got out for a late-morning cycle around UBC. There was still some snow on the ground, but the temperatures were rising, and it felt so darned good to breathe some fresh air! Then we hopped on a bus and headed downtown for an afternoon of walking, eating and having a drink. It ended up being a really full day, but a really great one, as well πŸ™‚ | Vancouver Gastown buildings | Vancouver Gastown buildings | Vancouver Gastown buildings

Happy Weekend!